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Summative Assessment: Crime and Victim Statistics


The United States of America is arguably the world’s most racially diverse nation. However, the country’s economic prosperity gains are unevenly shared across the societies, marginalizing some segments of American communities. One aspect of the marginalization is the racial and ethnic disparities in victims and offenders. This paper seeks to analyze this disparity using data from Murrieta Police and the Riverside County Sheriff departments to infer that racial and ethnic disparities in victims and offenders exist in the county of California and the entire United States as a whole.

Criminal Justice System Agencies

Murrieta Police Department is one of California’s local Criminal Justice Agencies located in Town Square Park, Murrieta. According to its mission, the department is dedicated to protecting life, enhancing community safety, and reducing crime through providing the highest quality police service in partnership with the community. The department, established in 1992, has developed to have 92 sworn officers and an additional 44 professional support staff (Murrieta Police Department, 2020). Of the sworn officers, 90% are male, while the remaining 10% are female. Additionally, in terms of race and ethnicity, 67% of the sworn police officers are white, 4.1% are black, while all the non-white combined account for 33% (Murrieta Police Department, 2020).

On the other hand, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is a local law enforcement agency located in Riverside County, California. The department, overseen by an elected sheriff-coroner, serves unincorporated riverside county areas as well as other incorporated cities by contract. According to the department’s website, the department boasts a staff of over 3,600 dedicated women and men who cover this expansive area (Riverside County Office, 2020). Of this population, about 76% of sworn personnel working full-time were white, 9% were black, 11% were Hispanic, and the other races accounted for 2%. Additionally, about 1 in 7 officers in the sheriff’s department were female (Bureau of Justice Statistics, 2019).

Racial and Ethnic Arrest Data

In 2010, Murrieta Police Department recorded 1,137 White arrests accounting for 83%, 156 black arrests representing 12% of total arrests, and 4 American Indian arrests (Federal Bureau of Investigations). The department did not arrest any Asians or Native Hawaiians in the year. In 2020, the department recorded 1356 white arrests accounting for 87%, 143 Black arrests representing 9%, 33 Asians accounting for 2%, 16 Native Hawaiians, and 13 American Indians, both accounting for 1% of the total arrests (Federal Bureau of Investigations).

On the other hand, in the County Sherriff Department, the number of whites arrested for violent crimes in 2020 was 3453, representing 87% of the total arrests, while the number of blacks or African Americans was 379, accounting for 10% of the total arrests (Federal Bureau of Investigations). Additionally, the number of Asians was 94, American Indians 38, and Native Hawaiians 4, accounting for 2%, 1%, and 0%, respectively (Federal Bureau of Investigations). In 2010, the numbers were 6578 for whites, 722 for blacks, 84 for American Indians, and 0 for Asians and Native Hawaiians, accounting for 89%, 10%, 1%, and 0%, respectively (Federal Bureau of Investigations).

Differences between the two agencies and explanation

From the above data, both agencies recorded a higher number of white’s arrests than other races. However, the most notable difference is that while the number of arrests was lower for minorities, the arrests as a percentage of the entire population was higher than that of total number of white arrests. This difference illustrates the disparity of criminal offenders and victims across California County as well as across the United States by demonstrating that minorities’ arrests and victimizations in relation to the total population are higher for blacks or Hispanic victims as opposed to white victims. Additionally, while the number of whites who are arrested might be high, punitive sentencing policies across the states have seen most black offenders end up in prisons and other incarceration centers as opposed to arrested white offenders. For instance, a study focusing on young offenders’ arrest, incarceration, and detention rates found that black youths were more likely to be detained, formally charged, and incarcerated thanthan white youths (Morgan & Truman, 2020). These dynamics illustrate the existing racial and ethnic disparities in victims and offenders.

Key Conclusions

From the evidence presented by the data, it can be concluded that in America’s criminal justice system, minorities, particularly Blacks, are generally overrepresented both as victims and offenders. Evidence from the number of reported offenders and victimizations cases consistently and strongly validates that some racial minorities are involved in violent crimes either as offenders or victims far beyond their numbers in the population. Echoing this conclusion is a 2021 statistical brief that found based on 2018 FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) program data, black Americans were overrepresented among individuals arrested for violent crimes at 33 percent despite blacks accounting for only 13% of the United States population (Beck, 2021). Hispania’s, on the other hand, were overrepresented among arrested for violent crimes at 21% relative to their 18% representation in the U.S population (Beck, 2021). Indeed, although the adage racial discrimination is still prevalent in the 21st century, evident through the existing racial and ethnic disparities in victims and offenders.

Explanation of Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Offending

Although there are several controversial and consistent correlations of crime, the relationship between race and crime remains one of the most researched correlations. Based on concepts from the text, two main explanations for the differences stand out. Firstly, differential enforcement at each stage of the system amongst minorities explains the disparities. It is obvious knowledge that areas populated by racial minorities tend to have higher patrol officers and subsequent stops, arrests, and incarceration rates as compared to areas with the majority. Secondly, such jurisdictions, populated by minorities, tend to have higher and more key risk factors associated with offending, including exposure to violence, employment difficulties, limited educational attainment, amongst others. It can thus be inferred that differential enforcement techniques and more offending risks or cause factors among minorities explain the Racial and Ethnic disparities in offending.


Beck, A. J. (2021). Race and Ethnicity of Violent Crime Ofenders and Arrestees, 2018 .

Bureau of Justice Statistics . (2019). Sheriffs’ Offices, 2016: Personnel.

Federal Bureau of Investigations. (n.d.). Retrieved from Crime Data Explorer:

Morgan, R. E., & Truman, J. L. (2020). Criminal Victimization, 2019.

Murrieta Police Department. (2020). Police Employees Demographics. Retrieved from Murrieta Police:

Riverside County Office. (2020). Riverside County Sheriff’s Department: Southwest Station. Retrieved from Riverside County Sheriff’s Department:


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